Category Archives: Creative Writing

Relative

You were born in June light
when the lazy rays of summer are
at their brightest

And the sun beats the backs of men
like Apollo’s stinging whip.

I was born during February’s freeze
when the snowflakes kiss your cheek
in frenzied flurries

And winter winds howl at your door
like wounded Persephone.

We are sisters—

Alike in blood and birth alone.

In thought and soul we remain
locked inside our own archipelagos

Our songs forever clashing as we
tango around the other in clumsy
stockinged feet

Arms never to reach outwards in a
greeting.

Oh, Stranger—

I’ll never know your season well
enough to call it home.

 

 

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Matchstick Girl

I wanted to strike a match to our blood ties
and witness the destruction of the oak tree
generations prior to us have swung from.

Document the eradication of familiar yet
alien faces as they melted into ooze,
dripped into sludge, then became the ash
that dances with the wind.

I wanted to hold solitary vigil among the
skeletons and fleshy corpses that whittled away
before my eyes and whisper,

“At last we are finished here.”

That by doing this, I could somehow end
the screaming hurt that tells me I am
as far from belonging to the connected tissue
of our last name as I am closer to understanding
any kind of God.

I wanted to strike a match and lay waste
to the years of loving that fell on deaf ears
and gnarled closed off branches—

I wanted to be free. 

However, the desecration of blood is more
difficult than I ever imagined and even fire
cannot scorch away the memories of the
heart.

I will always care while wondering up at the
stars my inability to forget.

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The Problem With Writing About Feminism

Countless beautiful stories have erupted from people who are brave enough to share their feminist experiences. Dialogue is powerful, a weapon that is more deadly the more you sharpen it—but try to break a glass ceiling by “sharing experiences” and you’ve got another thing coming.

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It takes more than writing about feminism experiences to change the system. It takes action.

In 50 Shades of Feminism, 50 authors share brief accounts of what feminism means to them. While a plethora of sharp-witted and fearless stories, the book lacks activism. Author and politician Lynne Featherstone suggests at the end of her piece,“Where there are no laws we must fight for them to be properly enforced. And where there is violence we must end impunity. Women across the world need economic empowerment, land and property rights, fairness, justice and freedom from violence.”

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One hundred percent aboard the Featherstone train to…

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For My Mother,

Wanted to construct a myriad of verse
to describe the meaning of your heart
and all its muscle memory and how it
sparkled like gold dust in a breeze.

Wanted to paint a metaphor profound
that scholars for the ages would pontificate
and ooh and aah over while they tried to
communicate to the world your importance.

Wanted to spool a tapestry of color with
words, sentences, commas and periods,
all a testament to how like a mockingbird
you sing when doubt clouds my song.

Wanted to fill blank pages with antidotes
about how the dark ages of my mind
were and are no match for the countless
moments of compassion that seep from you.

Wanted to say “I love you” in a deeper way
than the typical rushed words I give you
because you never rush or forget to say
“I love you,” no matter how difficult I can be.

Wanted to declare I am your daughter in the
most elegant prose possible and, you, my
mother in the most incandescent rhyme,
but these stanzas will never be enough.

All the “wanted” wants in the known universe
could never capture the pricelessness of what
you mean to me: My Giving Tree. My forever
friend. My shelter in the storm. My homecoming.

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Melancholia

Tangled emotions snarl like hair caught in my throat.

It cascades to the stomach as foul as tepid water.

Tresses of sludge pool into the center of me,
Whispering doubts as sharp as any puncture wound.

I shake myself tipsy from side to side—–
This anxiety is overwhelming.

Suddenly I am thinking about ghosts and hauntings
and monsters under the bed.

Suddenly my mind breaks and I am thinking I wish
I wasn’t weighted down and was soaring like a bird.

Suddenly there are too many suddenlies to think about.

My head pulsates in sickening time with my heartbeat,
Thunderous like the boom of Niagara Falls.

I feel hollow in my limbs;
Body corroded like an old bicycle.

Then a tsunami—–

Tears creep across the skin in waves and crescendo
because melancholy is a tenacious tenant.

It bursts forth from my chest enraged.
A mob of sob’s rioting.
Turbulent.

Lungs constrict as airwaves shut down due to all the traffic.

It jangles my soul until I am sure I hear shards of glass
clattering when I walk in the morning.

It spits on me with Its manied gorgon heads
as I tell myself not to look It in the eyes.

It becomes my other shadow always ready to
hinder my resolve with a new spiteful phrase.

To It I am Ophelia—–

A lady in need of a cool long drink—–
An endless sleep

Another useless dreamer.

  

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Immovable

There is no distance,
Long in mouth or wickedly wound,
That could ever make me say,
” He is not worth fighting for.”

There is no measure of time,
However meandering its ticks
Could convince my heart,
” He is not worth loving for.”

There is no obstacle,
Viscious in weight and size,
Could stop my mind from thinking,
” He is not worth yearning for.”

And there is no cirucmstance,
However painful it may scold
Could convince my soul,
” He is not worth living for.”

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Aphasia

The words (my words) do not come. No sentence slinks into place. No poetry whispers songs into my ear. Nothing. The words are silent. Muted. Slack jawed. Dead.

The words are gone. Vanished. Got the hell out of Dodge. Said adios. Said screw you. Said it’s not you it’s me. Left the moment I knew not one syllable could save me. Not one good goddamn syllable.

You see, a writer is only as persuasive as their words, and I’ve got none. Not a one. Zilch. Just wordless pockets; a pen empty of ink. A heart devoid of punctuation. It beats dull and droning and story-less-ly. It thuds without knowing what a thud means. It’s an idiot machine.

My heart, along with the lungs, veins, brains, muscles, stomach, intestines and all other humanly bits, goes on numbly. Abandoned of verse it (I) freeze. Internally there is a sputtering of ideas that cannot be freed, so a circuit shorts. Crumbles. Withers. Ruptures. Starts a frenzied panic switch release.

Alone, speechless, I choke on guttural tears. The body shakes. Writhes. Grows heavy and hot and cumbersome. Too awkward to negotiate; I cannot move. I lay in bed, cursing myself in a language I no longer understand.

The day you left, the words did too. I don’t know which is worse? Missing the words or missing you.

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Lost Things

I lose things;
Important things.

Not the keys or the phone.
Not my insurance card.
Not your house payment.

I lose pieces of myself;
I lose the weight of your love.

In myself I have lost confidence
And have been robbed sanity
And the precious tissues of my heart—-

Gone.

In you I have lost your trust
And crushed you with my baggage
And smothered all your devotion away—

For good.

You see,
I lose things;
Important things.

My dearest friend and lover,
I have lost you (I can feel it).

Lost just as quickly as I had won you,
Thanks to the shadows of my past
And my unshakable chains.

Too broken to love;
Too misshapen to woo,
You turn your back on me.

In your absence I lose more,
Like my smile and my laughter
And the notion of ever after’s.

Yes,
I lose things;
Important things—

And whatever else of myself remains,
To hell with it all—-

I am nothing without you.

Not a goddamn thing.

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Red Giant

Whatever I am isn’t enough and
Whatever is enough isn’t what I am.

Makes me lose sleep most nights,
Praying to a negligent God
Wishing like a child for miracles;

Wishing for more of myself.

Wishing I were as scalding bright as
A dying star just before it supernovas.

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My Odyssey: Missteps to You

First man I unraveled myself to smelt of cedar wood, alfalfa and hay. He was of the earth. As brazen as rock; as mercurial as the sea.

Four years my senior, I let him guide me. Through naive wonder I ignored his wicked grin, the kind that said, “I am the alpha and the omega of my universe. You are but a distant star.”

He soiled my dresses in blood. Cut out my innocence with deft surgeons hands. Corrupted the sum of me, leaving black sludge where pristine beaches once lay.

He fucked three woman. I made love to only one man. I made love to one man and three women by default of his actions—-

One woman with tainted sheets who tainted my bed thanks to him.

The other two lovers to follow weren’t very remarkable at all. I swallowed their false starts and callow confessions simply because I was wanted.

Not as I should have been wanted (like I was a tender daisy you fear picking in the sunshine or a beloved family heirloom to be treasured). I was wanted as a body to be plucked: all my juices drained for the harvest.

I crumbled with each touch. Repulsed by myself; disgusted by how easy it was and is not to love.

So, I wrote to ease the ache inside my breast. I wrote to smother the shame of all I carried. I drowned the past in inkwells. I shared these thoughts too freely. A wolf soon snuck inside my henhouse to make a pretty meal of me.

He never felt my flesh. He lived under a different sky and breathed a different air than I. He won me by being wounded himself.

I drank his bitterness as if it were a fine wine. I ate his contempt of women (of me) like it were some sort of communion. He reminded me to hate myself constantly while praising me of my use of words.

I broke free of him. But, sometimes, at night, I swear he’s whispering into my ear again. He’s saying, “I left you more shattered than I found you. I left you because you deserved to be left.”

The fiance scoffed at these men. Jackals he called them. Jackals for tearing me into too many pieces. Jackals for ignoring how I beamed like a yellow umbrella in the rain.

And saviors he called them.

Saviors for leading me in circles to him. Saviors for pushing all my pieces into trashcans so he could later scavenge them, and make a mosaic out of my misery.

He pulled me along with him. Swept me up in the security of his world. Swept me up in the tornado of his lies—-

When his glass house cracked and fractured beneath our feet, I waited for him to clean the wounds it inflicted. I had shards of glass imbedded in my skin in every which way. He never came. Never even said goodbye.

Oh, broken . Broken. Broken. I was shattered again. Fingers agitatedly searching in the dark for one red thread. My invisible tether linked as the twin heart to my single one. My one precious string of fate.

Red as the blush of my first kiss. Red as the apple plucked from my youth. Red as the hope stitched into the fabric of a long since tattered wedding dress.

I plucked and I pulled at time itself. I plucked and pulled until I felt a swift pull back, a gentle tug that sent warm shivers up my spine. The pull of you.

Yours the thread that is my thread. Yours the name that always hung finest upon my tapestry, yet I was too blind to see until first your eyes spied mine. Until I swallowed the moonbeams of your heart.

They tasted crisp. Cool. Like the fresh dew which lingers after an autumn rain storm. Like the thrill of your first drink settling on your tongue, all sharp with alcohol and sweet with rebellion.

You, the last man I’ll ever unravel myself to. The last “I love you” to escape my lips. The last thought before I fall backward towards sleep and the land of dreamer’s dust. My first brush with happiness—

My final destination. My forever lover. My future. My dear heart. My you. My everything swirling inside warm flesh, sweet sinew and beautiful bone. My truest friend.

I have finally come home.

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